Tuesday, 29 January 2013

20 Questions w/ Moghul

Moghul 2013
Another day, another interview.  We are either spoiling you guys or we dont have lives, either way, you win?!  I am excited to present my recent interview with this much lauded band, Moghul from Birmingham, England.  The spiritual home of heavy metal! 

I have said this before, but I'm gonna say it again!  The UK are producing countless talented bands in the sludge doom stoner metal scene, many of which we have featured on the blog.  These guys are going to be at the forefront of that scene over the next 12 months, mark my words.  

Moghul are creating quite a buzz due to the release of their brilliant debut release, Dead Empires, which Steve reviewed brilliantly a few weeks back but also on the back of their live shows too.  So on the day of their vinyl release of Dead Empires on the Devizes Label, it is with great pleasure I bring you my interview with Moghul.  Check out what Adam had to say when I presented with a new improved 20 Questions to him.  Enjoy, Sludgers!

Crushing Live

Hey Adam, How are you?  I appreciate you taking the time to talk to talk to us, here at the Sludgelord.   
Hi Sludgelord, many thanks for the great review of our debut EP and thank you for taking the time to ask us a few questions.
Q) How are things in the Moghul camp? What are your immediate plans with potentially a full year of band promotion ahead of you?
A) Things are great in camp Moghul at the moment, we are full of high spirits and creative energy.  Our immediate efforts are going towards a follow up to our debut EP.  We would also like to cast our nets further with regards to gigs so if you are reading this and want us in your town get in touch!
Q) From what I remember, James contacted me towards the end of last year, asking me if I would be interested in checking out your band.  So, Dead Empires has now been released.  First of all, congratulations on such an amazing debut.   Can you tell us about the record and the process of putting it together?
A) Thank you for your kind words.  We are genuinely grateful to anyone who takes the time to listen to it and we have received some great feedback to date.  It was a very organic process and the two tracks were written within a short space of time which led to them complimenting each other.  We tend to jam out riffs until we find a groove and something that sticks and just build from there.  We seemed to get a burst of influence and creativity once we turned our lockup's light off and used a dim red bulb as our only source of light.   
Q). You hail from the home of heavy metal, Birmingham, so that is a pretty heavy legacy to continue. Haha.  Could you tell us a little about the history of the band and some of the bands you've played with? When Moghul first formed? Current band members?
A) Birmingham has a rich heritage in heavy music which has definitely had a hand in shaping us.   Moghul formed out of the ashes of a previous band, Oar.  Oar represented a period of experimentation in both sound and approach.  After Oar's drummer moved to the sunnier climes of Vietnam we recruited close friend Tom Woods.  We spent a good deal of months honing and shaping ourselves into what we are now and as our music began to take a different direction we felt it apt to change our name.  
We have been lucky enough to share stages with some amazing bands such as Conan, Undersmile, Black Magician, Limb, Throne, Jacknife Holiday, Meadows, Alunah, Widows, Slab, and Tree of Sores to name but a few.  
Q).  Which band or artist turned you guys onto music and specifically introduced you to Heavy Metal and wanting to form a band?
We have all enjoyed a diverse range of music for all our lives so pin pointing a specific band is very difficult however, we definitely would not be the band that we are without the likes of; Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Iron Monkey, The Melvins, Conan, Sunn 0))), Sleep, Om, Slomatics, Eyehategod, Earth and Neurosis. 
Q) What was your motivation to start the band?  Did you all know each other before you formed Moghul? The name comes from your love of curry, specifically Chicken Madras or were you yanking my chain?
A) Collectively our motivation was to push ourselves to create monolithic walls of sound to take the listener on an epic voyage.  We wanted to write the sort of music that we would love to listen to ourselves. Three of us (Joe, James and Adam) have been playing music together for 10 years and grew up together on the same road.  Our friendship and shared love of music has been the basis for our creative output. 
Although we all love a good curry and Birmingham has some of the best curry houses around I am afraid that our name has a bit more symbolism than that of the humble madras (AP, yes im the asshole, haha).  We chose the name as we love the imagery of an ancient dynasty and felt that it sat well with the various themes of our music.  We don't like to take ourselves too seriously so you never know you may see a track entitled "Ode to an onion bhaji".
Q) Since your inception, was your plan always to write and release your own music? 
A) In short yes! We have always wanted to take things as far as possible.  We have reached our first goal with the EP release and we are now working toward achieving others!
Q) In your experience, how easy/difficult was  it for your band to get coverage and get gigs? 
A) We are fortunate that Birmingham has some really good promoters such as Heretic and Sirius who are really helping independent music and have put on some great events.  Once we started gigging we began to make links with various people which has helped to secure gigs and spread the word about the band.  Our biggest break with regards to exposure came when Paul Kenney at Devizes Records approached us about releasing our EP.  We cannot thank Paul enough as he has really worked hard on this release and getting our name out there.
Q) Based on your own experience, what do you think is the most important thing for a new metal band to do in order to promote themselves?
Playing plenty of gigs is always a good start however, we have found that getting gigs with quality bands is better than quantity.  Gigs also give bands a great opportunity to network. We are lucky that we live in an age where all it takes is a few clicks on a computer and you can discover the world so we definitely recommend taking advantage of things like bandcamp, Facebook and internet blogs.

Q) What are some of the difficulties/frustrations of being part of Moghul, because there are many other commitments such as family, work etc, that perhaps restrict the amount of time you can dedicate to the band? 
A) I think that we would all like to spend a lot more time in the studio but unfortunately we all have jobs and James has recently started a family.  The time that we do have together we make the most of  and the band helps us to escape the constraints and monotony of working life!
Q )Don’t think about this too much, but  If someone was unfamiliar with your band, what words immediately spring to mind when you think about your sound? 
A) Mountainous, seismic, brooding, slow, low and groove laden!
Q)  Tell us some of your influences/heroes both musically and artisticall, both metal and non-metal? 
A) We are big Sabbath fans and coming from Birmingham greatly admire and appreciate what they have brought to the world of music.  We jointly have a love for Star Wars, Wizards and mythical beasts and these have featured in past music.
We embarked upon our musical life playing different instruments to what we do now which saw us playing a lot of classical music and whilst we may not be queuing up outside the symphony hall we still enjoy the odd symphony or concerto!  It could be said that many parallels can be drawn between music of the past and present and our past playing of classical music may explain our penchant for drone and in particular bands such as Sunn 0))) and Earth.  We all grew up in families in which music played a big role and it is this exposure to the many forms of music that has helped to mould who we are today. 
Q)  It might sound like a stupid question but, how important is the band’s chemistry when writing and performing?

A) When writing we all definitely have to be on the same page for it to go anywhere.  Our on stage chemistry comes from the pleasure of performing the material that we have sweated over! 
Q) Did you agenda when you began writing the new record?
A) Not as such, we just set out to write the best music we could produce and have fun at the same time! Fun is the key element, you have to enjoy what you are doing. 

Q) What were your aims for Dead Empires and how do you feel about the record now that it has been unleashed on the unsuspecting public?  Is there a particular theme running through the record?
A) We are overjoyed at the release of the record and are overwhelmed by the response we have received. We just wanted to put something out there which we felt happy with ourselves, it has come as bonus that so many people like it! We hoped that the record may open doors for us and expand our horizons and so far it has been an awesome journey. 
Thematically the EP deals with things such as antiquity, the decay of civilization and oppression.  We do however actively encourage the listener to digest our soundscapes and come to their own conclusions. 
Q) After a relatively short period of time, Dead Empires got picked up for an amazing vinyl release.  How did that come about?
A) We had seen via Facebook that Devizes Records were looking for bands to work with and after posting a link to our bandcamp page Paul from Devizes approached us.  We all met up and discussed the ins and outs of it and as a band we found it really inspiring to hear someone outside of the band who was so enthusiastic about what we had written.  
Q) I’m assuming all musician like to talk about the gear they use, so with that in mind what do you use in terms of guitars, amps and why? Also what tuning do you use?
A) We definitely love to talk gear and find that when we socialise outside of band practice gear still features heavy in our conversations! James mainly uses a Gibson SG and a Gibson firebird, Joe uses Telecasters and Adam, a Jazz bass and a Gibson SB 400.  We have experimented with various tunings and a current tuning of choice is drop A# / Bb.   With regards to amps we have journeyed a long quest for great tone.  James uses an old matamp white and an Orange OR 50, Joe uses a Laney GH100 and a Laney Supergroup and Adam uses a Matamp GT200. 
Q) You’ve only been around for a relatively short time and from talking to bands, such Meadows recently (Check em out); they said you were one’s to watch.  How pleasing it to hear comments like that from your peers and how do you feel your band has generally been received?
A) All feedback we receive is greatly appreciated and to date we have had a really positive response.  We take all critique on board as we want to grow as a band and create the best music that we can.  We are genuinely flattered when other bands and audience members approach us after a show to let us know that they enjoyed our set and it is still something that we are getting used to.  We had the pleasure of sharing a stage with Meadows before Christmas and they blew our socks off with their frenetic riffage!
Q) For a band such as yourselves or anyone for that matter trying to get coverage or exposure, how valuable are blogs such as the Sludgelord?  Does this type of media coverage translate to people buying merch, downloading music etc, coming to shows?
A) Internet blogs such as your good selves and review sites are invaluable to bands as they help to generate exposure.  We have all been turned on to bands which had not yet encountered because of the Sludgelord and others.  We feel that there is a definite correlation between media exposure, new fans and music sales so in terms of a band trying to cut it's teeth this type of coverage is worth its weight in gold. 
Q) Quick fire question, what’s your preference?  Cassette, CD, Digital Download or Vinyl? And why?
A) You can't beat vinyl for its full and warm sound and although digital downloads definitely help bands to reach a wide audience nothing beats a vinyl.  From its packaging and design to the variety of colours and limited editions, for us, vinyl wins hands down.
Q) Reviewing records within sub genres of metal such as sludge/doom/stoner etc, you often listen to a lot of stuff which is quite similar. What sets you apart from your peers and what are your thoughts about being part of any scene?
A) We feel very fortunate to be part of the Sludge/Doom/Stoner scene and there is a real melting pot of talent and creativity emerging at the moment.  We always try to keep things fresh and inject new ideas into our music.  We would like to think that we evolve with each track we write.   
Q) Do you have any interesting stories from your tours, favourite places you’ve toured and bands you’ve toured with or bands you’d like to share the stage with?

A) We have not yet played a your however, we hope to be able to share some tour stories with you in the future.  There are so many great bands out there that we would love to share a stage with but to name a few; Sunn 0))), Slomatics, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Moss and Kongh. 
Q). In terms of the band, what are your plans for the rest of the year?  Can we expect new music from Moghul or big tours ahead?

A) At the moment we are working towards our next release.  We are aiming to get back in the studio in the spring time and then unleash the leviathan in the Summer! We would love to embark on a tour and play some festivals, we just have to wait and see what opportunities come our way. 
We have been lucky enough to land the main support to the almighty Serpent Venom, on the Chaos Festival bill.  Chaos Festival has been put together collectively by Heretic Promotions and Sirius Promotions.  It is a three day festival with day one dedicated to Thrash Metal, Day two, Doom/Stoner/Sludge and Day 3, Black/Death and Grind!  It promises to be a great weekend and takes place of the easter weekend.  We also have some other exciting shows in the pipe line.
Q) Thanks for answering my questions, but one final question, you got anything you like to say to your fans?
A) We would like to say thank you.  Without your continued support we would not be able to continue to do something we love! Fans have given us the greatest gift of all, their time. 


Another cracking interview and as ever show your support thanks to Adam, James and the guys in Moghul for  helping us set up this interview. Check the links for more info on the band. Record is available to buy via the label.   Cheers Aaron 


Monday, 28 January 2013

Interview with VOID OF SLEEP

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing a band who have literally exploded onto the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene with their amazing debut album.

Void Of Sleep are a brilliant Sludge/Stoner Metal band from Italy who have just release their classic debut album – Tales Between Reality And Madness.

I reviewed this recently and stated the following about it.

“Void Of Sleep have pulled out all of the stops on this album. The production is just immense. This is one of the best sounding debuts I have heard in a long time. So top marks from me on that score.

So there you have it. Void Of Sleep have released their first masterpiece. Long may it continue. Tales Between Reality and Madness has been receiving a whole load of praise at the moment. I expect this to continue in 2013 when the album is finally released upon the world.”

Now the whole world seems to be raving on about this brilliant album. And it's praise richly deserved. These guys mean business and are here to stay.

Well the guys have kindly agreed an interview with me which I am very happy to do.

Ladies and Gentleman – Void Of Sleep.

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today. 

Gale: Hi Steve! Thanks to you for all the support, in these days we are busy and exited for the release of our debut album. We just looking forward to promote it as best as we can!

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

Gale: The band was born in spring 2010, we are all friends from about 15 years; after a self-produced promo EP of 3 tracks only for music indeed in 2011, last summer we have recorded our first full-length album called “Tales between Reality and Madness”, 7 songs, 45 minutes of music. In November 2012 we have signed our first contract with Aural Music to released our debut album.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound.

Paso: hi Steve! when I started the production of this album I wanted to keep our sound as "live" as I can, avoiding any production trick as overdubs, reamping or drum replacement. So when we started recording (at Studio73 here in Ravenna) we recorded only what we do live using only our gear. Then we decided to put here and there some extra arragments, some reverse guitars, some extra vocals (I love Porcupine Tree…) but always using the rule "less is more". The final touch was the mix and mastering stage: we choose to not over compress the mastering (that boring and stupid practice to make your cd the loudest one) to keep transients and details and leave the whole dynamic intact.

Burdo: well, our sound is the consequence of our musical taste, emotions and background i guess; we just put out the riffs, the ideas and jam! Our label call us "Visionary Sludge Rockers" someone else call our music style "Psych Sludge/Stoner"…i think that all that labels are awesome but, to me, it's only rock n'roll ah ah!

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

Gale: Too many! For the sound of our band I think that the most important are Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Tool, Mastodon, Kyuss and Opeth.

Burdo: Yes, we get your inspiration from different genres, we love the vibes of the old 70's hard rock and psychedelic bands, as well as some modern acts just mentioned by Gale.

Paso: As professional engineer I was lucky to work with so many great italian bands, most of them are still in the underground and most of them deserve more than a listen. I feel deep inspired by bands such as At The Soundawn, Sunpocrisy, Blame it On The Ocean, the mighty The End Of 6000 Years, Beerbong and Miotic. As bass player I love listening Alessio from At The Soundawn, Andrea from Dubby Dub and Mattia Bigi from Extrema.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

Gale: We all have a regular job and here in Italy the bills are massive. Become a full time musician is the dream of every person with a instrument in his hands.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music.

Gale: Our beautiful girlfriends called “The Void Girls” and some friends are our regular audience togheter with some “fans”.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

Gale: Void of Sleep is a real band, no rockstars are into. All of us put the ideas, riffs, writings, arrangements for the band. Only with regard to the lyrics, there’s an individual work because all the lyrics are from Burdo.

Q8 – Your début album – Tales Between Reality and Madness – has just been released. And what more can I say. Seems like the whole world has gone crazy about it. It has been acclaimed all over the place. I bet this has surprised each of you. Some of the reviews I have read echo my own thoughts about the album.

Gale: We are really impressed and really surprised, we know “Tales…” is damn good album and we are really proud of it, the songs, the sound, the production, all is fantastic for us but we’ve never thought that all the reviews about it were like: “awesome” “masterpiece” “incredible”!

Burdo: We hope that this positive feedback will help us to find ways and places to be able to promote the album, because live shows are what we like to do and we do it best!

Q9 – Did you know you had something special on your hands before the album was released.

Paso: Absolutely no! We like to play together, especially live on stage, we still ask to ourself why people like Void of Sleep… but we cannot answer to this question we are too involved! Anyway I still think we are a live band, not a studio band, our only problem is that we tend to play our songs too fast!

Burdo: I don't know..we was absolutely freaked out about the album…but we also knew that is not possible to be completely realistic with your own work…i think we understood the real potential of the record in a second time, when we had a chat with Emi of Aural Music and with some other guys close to us.

Q10 – Now who came up with the excellent album cover. It does reflect the albums mood in places but also a bit misleading as well. As you guys have included some superb sing-along choruses in your music.

Burdo: The idea of the cover came because we had the will of represent the hard work we have done in this album with a metaphoric image…so i thought about the figure of the amanuensis monks…they reminds me at an ancient, hard and devoted work…then we decide to lay down all the artwork in this mood…and it works great for us!

The graphic work was released from Simone Bertozzi.

Q11 - Is there a scene for bands like yourself to perform in your home town on a regular basis. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis.

Burdo: After some dark years i think that now the Italian underground is alive and kicking! I wouldn't talk about a one-genre scene…you know: black metal or thrash, hardcore or death metal…i'm talking about some real interesting and original bands…unfortunately in Italy there isn't a lot of possibilities to play live in this scene…so, to promote our band we need to travel to reach some visibility.

Q12 – Have you toured with anyone famous. If so, who were your fave bands to tour with.

Gale: I’ve shared the stage with Entombed, Vader, Chimaira, Deacpitated when I was in my old band (Conspiracy A.D.) and now with V.o.S. we have supported OM, Unsane, Weedeater, Zoroaster and Lesbian but I’ve never do a real tour with a pro band.

Q13 – What is the live Void Of Sleep experience like.

Gale: We always take a shot of tequila before we get on stage and after this we set the stage on fire!

Burdo: Ahaha classic! I think we really share all our emotions with the audience when we play live…basically it is a Rock n'Roll show..old style..Black Sabbath style!

Q14 – How did you guys get signed to the excellent Aural Music label.

Gale: Emiliano (the boss!) listened to our promo and went crazy with it so we started to talk about a collaboration. When the master of the album was done I’ve sent to him and three our later he offered us a good contract so here we are! We must thank Emi and all in Aural Music for is fantastic job: our album isn’t yet in stores and we have more than 30 reviews from all over the world, many magazines, webzines or blog talkin’ ‘bout us through them.

Q15 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Post-Rock/Post-Metal.

Paso: As I said above I really like to listen to underground italian bands, believe me you can find something wonderful! Said that I tend to listen to modern music for a couple of reasons: first there's always some new band that deserve a listen, second as professional sound engineer I need to keep myself update and listen, listen listen!!!

Burdo: We listen a lot of classic era Rock and a lot of 90's stoner rock like Kyuss and bands like Tool or Pantera…if i wonder about some bands around at the moment i say: Witchcraft, The Sword, Ghost, At the Sundawn, Sunpocrisy and Empyrios.

Q16 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?

Gale: I love the underground webzines or blog I think that there’s so many people who really likes music, they listen and write to music only for passion. In mainstream music magazines maybe many people take listen to music as a work, but so it works and mainstream magazine can gives you a greater visibility

Q17 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

Gale: The best aspect of being in a band is the concerts, we love to play live and make some noise. The worst is the head and stomach the day after a gig!

Q18 – Do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about such as a European Tour. Well maybe a bit too soon. But maybe one day.

Burdo: yes, unfortunately for us it's not simple to organize a proper european tour…but we are still dealing with this because we want to promote our stuff wherever we can…at the moment we have some good gigs here in Italy and in Germany…let's see...

Q19 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Gale: Fans?! We have fans?! Wow, it seems to be good… All jokes aside I want to say to you all: support the music, every kind of music, doesn’t matter genres or styles, go the concert, buy records, listen to music, dance, talk about music, live for music, music is the best thing in the world.

Paso: I'd like to say: thank you so much, really really appreciated! and deep sorry for my bad english, but I'll learn english, promised! Thank you Steve!!! 

No apologies necessary dude. Thanks for doing this guys. All the best from Sludgelord. As you know we are massive fans of your great band. I wish you every success with your amazing new album. Thanks. Steve.

Check This Brilliant Band Below

You can buy their stunning debut album on Aural Music now. See why the whole world is going crazy about this great band.

Interview with NEON WARSHIP

Neon Warship cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Neon Warship – the excellent Stoner Metal band featuring Kevin Schindel and Matt Tackett from Post-Hardcore heroes- Twelve Tribes. Kevin is guitarist from amazing Sludge/Post-Metal band - Mouth Of The Architect.

Plus I must not forget Jay Bird as well who makes up the final member of this awesome Stoner Metal trio.

Neon Warship have just released their brilliant S/T début album which I recently raved about. If you haven't checked these guys out then your really missing out on a superb album.

Well the guys have kindly agreed an interview with me. So lets see what these cool Stoner Metallers have to say.

Q1 - Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you Today.

What’s up Steve! Things are good, except that we live in Ohio and it’s freezing and raining today.

Q2 - For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

I had been looking for some people to start a new project with for quite awhile. I knew I wanted to start a band like this, but didn’t have anyone to jam with. Matt, my old partner in crime from Twelve Tribes, called me up one day to see if I was interested in getting together with him and our buddy JB. We got together and started riffing and recording. We immediately clicked.

Q3 - How would you describe your overall sound. As I would classify it as Stoner Metal with a hint of Hard Rock.

I would say that’s a good way to describe us. We wanted to play music that gave a nod to our Classic Rock forefathers. But, we’ve all been into heavier bands and wanted that sound too.

Q4 - Which bands and artists influenced you directly as musicians

For me, it’s such a wide spectrum. From my childhood until now, I’ve listened to and liked a lot of music. I’d probably start with some older bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath for their bluesy tones. Mix in a little of The Beatles and Pink Floyd for melodies and ambience. Then maybe a little old school metal like Judas Priest and Testament for their shredding solos. I also listen to newer bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Tool. I could definitely go on and on about stuff I like. Just depends on my mood.

Q5 - Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

We all work full time jobs. We’d love for this to be our job, but it’s unfortunately not paying the bills. Someday… Maybe? It doesn’t matter if we make money, we’d still be doing the same thing.

Q6 - Are your family and friends supportive of your choice of career.

Yeah, I guess so. I think they have to be at this point. Ha! All of us have been playing music for awhile. I think after all these years, they finally understand that we love this and will do it for the rest of our lives. Don’t know if music will ever amount to much of real a career, but we are passionate about it and will continue to play.

Q7 - What was the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

I write most of the riffs and lyrics, but it’s a collaboration between the three of us. I lay down the foundation and then Matt and JB add in their parts. We then jam those riffs, record them, and listen back. We’ve found that we do cool stuff by accident, or forget how to play things we liked. By recording practice, we catch a lot of spontaneous parts and then try to recreate them.

Q8 – How did you come up with the name – Neon Warship – does it mean anything to the band or anyone in general.

It’s was Matt’s idea. I think coming up with a band name is hard, but this one just seemed fitting. You can almost imagine what our band sounds like by hearing or seeing our name.

Q8 – Your new album is excellent. Full of great tunes to rock out to. Was it an easy album to write and record for.

Thanks Steve! We really appreciate that. I think the jamming part seemed easy and effortless to us. We were long time friends just getting together and catching up on the good old days. We all kind of knew what we wanted to do, but the writing process ended up being a little difficult. I think we had too many parts and were trying to do too much. Once we simplified a couple songs, we found our groove. We then figured out what worked for us and it allowed us to do more. The last two songs we wrote were Paralyzed and Burn the Breeze. They are the longest songs on the CD.

Q9 - Did the final result meet your original expectations.

Yeah, I think we accomplished what we were going for at the time. We had already played a couple of shows and just wanted to get something recorded for people to check out. It was every song we had at the time. Since then we have written a few more songs and have played them live. We’re going to start demoing some new stuff out soon in hopes to have a full length release this year.

Q10 – The album cover is very cool. Very psychedelic and more like an homage to bands from the 70s/80s. Who came up with the design for the cover. Will make an excellent T-Shirt.

It was a friend of ours, Mike Mcneal, who created the cover and logo. He pretty much captured the way we felt about the style and sound of the CD. He also designed a couple shirts for us that are just as cool. We hope to work again with him in the future.

Q11 – You have just released your album on BandCamp on Pay Now Deal. How important and helpful has BandCamp been to get your music across.

I find it to be very helpful. It’s has helped us get our music out to people without any label support. It’s free to download if you want, so check it out! But I think it has allowed people to listen to us when they may not have before. Hopefully they’re into it and want to pass it on to their friends.

Q12 – Will there be a physical release any time in the future.

We have copies that we sell at shows and we’ll eventually make it available to order online. We also hope to release it on vinyl at some point very soon.

Q13 - Do you guys perform lots of gigs in your home town or do you have to travel further a field.

We have played quite a few shows here at home and some in the surrounding cities. We’ve also done a few weekends and out of state shows. We hope to do a lot more this year!

Q14 – With most of you being involved with other bands, has this helped Neon Warship to gain that little bit more exposure.

Maybe a little... It’s a different style of music than any of our other bands. But the people that have heard it still seem to appreciate it.

Q15 – I only discovered your great band and album recently due to The Soda Shop reviewing it. Then I had to do my review. Has the blogging community been a big help at all yet. Though I think they will real soon. As your album is too good too ignore.

Thanks again! We are really proud parents of this child. I do think that it has helped us greatly. It’s giving us exposure to people that we would not have had otherwise. We fucking love it! Hopefully it continues to grow.

Q16 - What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?

I think it’s awesome. We appreciate blogs, such as Sludgelord, taking interest in our band. It’s sites like yours, where people can go to find new music. Don’t know how much mainstream attention we’ll get, but it’s nice to know that people will seek out music in other ways.

Q17 - What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal.

I listen to all kinds of different music. Rock, metal, and classic rock mostly. As for newer music, I’ve been getting into bands like Witchcraft, Graveyard, and Red Fang.

Q18 - What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

Writing new music is the most rewarding thing to me. It’s when you come up with that riff or vocal part that just hits you so hard. The least rewarding part is when you get stuck in a rut and you just can’t seem to write anything interesting. It happens... I think it’s a part of being a musician. Once you get out of it, you tend to write some of the coolest parts. It’s a vicious cycle for me, but totally worth it.

Q19 – Can you give advice to bands/musicians who are thinking in starting their own Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal Band.

My advice is to jam and record. You never know what you might capture, or lose forever. Also, experiment with different parts and don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if you don’t like it, it’s worth a shot because it might lead to another idea.

Q20 – Do you have anything exciting plans within the next 12 months or so.

We’re going to be writing, recording, and playing as many shows as we can. We have some regional shows booked with more to come. Next week we’re going into the studio to demo some new songs with hopes of a full length release this year.

Q21 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans.

To everyone who has checked out our CD and liked it, thank you! Let us know by liking us on Facebook and writing us. Hopefully we’ll play in a city near you soon!

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. All the best from Sludgelord. There you have it folks. A great interview from a great band that I can't recommend highly enough.

Check Neon Warship out now. You won't be sorry.


MOJO WAVES - Album Teaser

Mojo Waves are a Garagedelic Rock Band from Vantaa, Finland.

The members are:

Arttu Kantola - Vox & Fuzz
Juuso Leinonen - Bassteroid
Mikko Matikka - Groove

Mojo Waves are a band who we have featured a couple of times before on the blog. Most recently back in July 2012.

They struck a chord with many of you. Well the guys have recently contacted me to say their new album is almost ready. And to prepare the world for it they have given me an album teaser to show you.

Yeah still the same fucked up attitude and riffs from these hugely talented Stoner Rockers from Finland. Yeah I definitely want to hear more. Roll on when this album is finally released. Be cool to hear what these guys sound like on a bigger scale.

Check This Great Band Below:


Câimbra Are Back!!!

E NO FIM O QUE RESTA? cover art

Câimbra are a Sludge/Experimental Metal Band from São Paulo, BRASIL

The members are:

Gustavo McNair . VOX /
Alexandre Pereira . GUITAR /
Piettro Torchio . GUITAR /
Manoel Junqueira . BASS /
Caio Casemiro da Rocha . DRUMS

Câimbra are a superb Sludge Metal Band from our South American Brothers. I have featured this great band before back in 2011.

I loved their debut EP - É Tudo Uma Mentira -as it was a fast and furious blast of insane Sludge Metal riffage to rock the fuck out too.

Well 2 years later the guy are back with more of the same action packed fucked up riffage. Their new EP - E NO FIM O QUE RESTA? - is a 5 song and 16 minute blast of insane hardcore riffage.

It's fast paced from the word go and showcases another great band from Brasil. The guys will be releasing this on Vinyl real soon with a surprise on Side B. That's all I know folks. All they told me in the press release.

So headover to BandCamp and download this on Pay Now Type Deal. You won't be sorry. You can still download their previous EP for free as well. Two great releases for next to nothing.

Superb and Highly Recommended.

Check This Great Band Below:


SHALLOW GRAVE - S/T Album Review



Astral Projection - Feb 4th 2013

Shallow Grave are an Atmospheric Sludge/Doom Metal band from New Zealand. And that's all the information I have on these hugely talented sludge rockers.

They are signed to Astral Projection - a cool label that sent me their stunning S/T debut album. An album that has 6 tracks and runs for a brutally impressive 55 mins or so.

If your a fan of Neurosis, Isis and Black Sabbath then your going to go crazy over this. Shallow Grave have released a stunning album to showcase their monumental talents. These hard rocking Kiwi's have delivered a heavy slab of heavy as fuck Doom/Sludge Metal Apocalyptic End Of The World based riffage.

This album starts off heavy and fucking stays that way through the entire duration. The vocals and riffs feel like they have been crafted and molded in HELL itself.

First track - Devil's Harvest- sets the scene and mood for what is to come next. Its full of violent sludge riffs with eerie based vocals to boot. This 10 minute monster will leave your shaken and stirred but begging for more.

It's a good job the band band deal in epic tracks as they range from 5 mins to 15 mins in length. These guys channel the mid 90's aggression of Neurosis when Post-Metal was starting to take off. I wouldn't call Shallow Grave Post-Metal as such. Atmospheric Sludge is more an apt term and description. As with most Post-Metal bands there is an ambient Post-Rock vibe to calms things down. Not here folks. Shallow Grave start pissed off and they stay that way.

It gives the album a violent and unpredictable edge. Vocals are screamed at you and riffs shredded at your very soul. Imagine a mad man tearing you limb from limb as Shallow Grave leave you with that unpleasant feeling of unwanted mayhem and destruction.

Other great tracks to check out are Chemical Fog, Nameless Chants and the sublime 15 minute epic - City Of The Dead.

Shallow Grave have done themselves proud here. This is an album you will never forget. It's an uncompromising journey into the abyss of darkness.

It's wonderfully produced as you can hear every thick riff to violent head-banging perfection. Don't let this album pass you by. Shallow Grave will tear your fragile world apart.

Uncompromising, unrelenting and heavy as fuck from the word go. Shallow Grave's debut album is a masterclass of extreme metal. Maybe Peter Jackson can get Shallow Grave to do the soundtrack to the next Hobbit movie. Or if he decides to make one his crazier low-budget fucked up efforts. Shallow Grave would definitely fit the bill.

Sorry I digress - Yeah Shallow Grave are the real deal. A true talent has emerged and I implore you to check these hugely talented Sludge Rockers out.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended.

Check This Great Band From The Links Below:


ANCIENT VVISDOM - Deathlike - Album Review



Prosthetic Records - Feb 5th 2013

The band members are:

Nathan Opposition, Ribs, Michael, TA , Mitchel K. Morris

In 2011 Ancient VVisdom blasted their way into the Occult Rock/Metal spectrum with their stunning debut album - A Godlike Inferno - which drew acclaim from critics and fans alike. Their blend of Occult Rock with Semi Acoustic Gothic Overtones won them a loyal following. It was a stunning album that made them a band to look out for in the future.

Roll on 2013 and Ancient VVisdom are back with Deathlike. Their eagerly awaited follow up to their superb debut album. Nothing much has changed in their music. They are still the messengers of the dark lord with a dark gothic take on everything rock and roll.

Though this time Ancient VVisdom are a lot more bleaker than ever before. Deathlike is an album that tells you everything about life and death with the pain that goes along with it.

Nathan is menacing and powerful as ever aided by his not-so-merry band of demonic outlaws. Tracks such as Deathlike, Far Beyond Good & Evil, Rebirth and Waiting To Die carry the same majestic blueprint of occult based riffs matched with intense lyrics that have a real dark and underlying menace about them. 

The album has more quieter acoustic moments compared to the last album. If you think the band has gone soft on their new release think again. Remember these guys released a split album with Charles Manson as their first release. Deathlike sees them more comfortable with their surroundings. They never hold back despite the dark subject matter on show.

The dark and depressing lyrics matched with the brooding and atmospheric occult based music make Deathlike an album you cannot possibly ignore. Ancient VVisdom never shy away from life's hard choices or challenges. Why should they. It's always great that a band is truthful to their beliefs no matter how many people they piss off along the way.

Some of the lyrics cut right to the bone. Their poignant, painful and truthful in equal measure. It takes a band of real talent to make you feel all of these emotions at the same time. Ancient VVisdom have created a beautiful and understated masterpiece of any genre.

A Godlike Inferno heralded the arrival of a truly great band. Deathlike cements their reputation as one of the most original and brilliant bands of modern times. Deathlike will be remembered as one of the most defining records of 2013. It's a brave and bold work of art from a truly forward thinking band.

Deathlike is an exceptional record from a truly exceptional band.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended.

Ancient VVisdom Links

You can buy Deathlike from Prosthetic Records from Feb 5th 2013 on CD, Vinyl. Thanks to the kind people at Prosthetic Records for allowing me to review this. Much Appreciated.